Hydrogen Vehicles

Hydrogen vehicles are coming of age. Concept hydrogen vehicles have been shown and demonstrated all over the world and even a few orders for production models have been placed. When President Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about the Hydrogen Highway, what they envision is a hydrogen-based economy with a hydrogen car, truck or SUV in every garage.


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Hydrogen vehicles are not just hydrogen cars, though. As mentioned, hydrogen vehicles will also be aircraft, watercraft, trucks, vans, minivans, SUVs, racecars, tractor trailers, tractors, trains, mining cars, planes, submarines, boats and ships of all shapes and sizes. Hydrogen fuel is already used in NASA's rockets along with experimental cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. so the future for hydrogen vehicles is right around the corner. The first public hydrogen fueling station is being built in Germany and expected to open in 2007. BMW will roll out production model hydrogen-powered limousines in 2007 as well.

Having a highway full of hydrogen-powered cars and other vehicles assumes that first hydrogen vehicles will be affordable to the average consumer. Second, the hydrogen infrastructure must be in place to support such vehicles and vehicle-owners. In California, 23 such fueling stations already exist.

Gasoline stations of the future will be referred to as 'fueling stations' as not only will they carry gasoline and hydrogen, but most likely other fuels as well such as natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel and other types of fuel that work with an internal combustion engine and fuel cell engines.

If hydrogen is the perfect fuel (and it is), then why will there be so many choices in the future? The ascent from gasoline-powered vehicles to hydrogen-powered vehicles will most likely not take a straight line. The most likely scenario to occur is that first hybrid vehicles go mainstream in the marketplace.

Once again, hybrid vehicles don't just mean hybrid cars. They also don't necessarily mean gasoline-electric hybrids. Right now, for instance, there are also diesel-electric and hydrogen-gasoline vehicles at least in the prototype stage. In the next few years, there will most likely be other combinations of hybrid engines on the market as well such as E85 hybrids and biofuel hybrids.

In fact, E85 hybrid vehicles will most likely bridge the gap until hydrogen hybrid vehicles take over the marketplace. Why go hydrogen when you have an E85 hybrid? Hydrogen vehicles, whether powered by hydrogen-burning internal combustion engines (ICE's) or powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology, use the most prevalent and cleanest burning substance in the universe, hydrogen or H2 at the scientists like to call it. Hydrogen is made up of two atoms of hydrogen, thus the H2 and when bonded with oxygen creates H2O or water.

Clean Byproducts ...

Water, or steam, is in fact the only byproduct from a clean-burning hydrogen engine. When you want to clean up the environment, why not build a vehicle that lets off a little steam now and then and nothing else. No harmful carbon dioxide or monoxide poisons are release into the atmosphere with a hydrogen vehicle. Going hydrogen means no greenhouse gases and no contribution to global warming.

As long as you have a supply of hydrogen fuel with which to fill up your vehicle's tank, that's all you need. If it's so simple, why aren't we doing it yet? Because it's not so simple, yet.

Hydrogen cars and other vehicles currently come in at about a cool $1 million. Right now California has about 23 hydrogen fueling stations and some other states like New York and Florida have a couple. But, the big technological hold back is finding a way to manufacturer massive amounts of hydrogen in a cost effective manner. We have more information on our inside pages on how this will need to be done.

It's definitely feasible, but like all emerging technologies, the entrepreneurs of the world will need to come to the rescue and invent new ways to make this happen. Right now, many inventors have come up with hydrogen generators for cars that anyone can use on gasoline or diesel engines to increase gas mileage and decrease emissions. So, it's not pie-in-the-sky, nor is it a pipe dream. Remember another pipe dream called the Internet or perhaps you've heard of the cell phone?

Naysayers used to say this other radical technology would not happen in our lifetimes. But, it did. And the dream of a hydrogen vehicle in every garage and carport is also a lot closer than you think. Heck, all of the major automakers say they will have a production hydrogen car in their showrooms by 2015. And, as with all vehicles, getting insurance will be a necessity for your alt fuel vehicle.

The dream is so much closer than you think. Grab onto the dream and see where it takes you! And hold on for the ride, because this is going to be fun.



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